Because most wellington boots aren’t made for people with big calves. They’re made for those with skinny legs. (although not too skinny because I suppose they’d swamp you).
Unfortunately I never got my mum’s skinny leg genes. Instead mine were always shapely, probably thanks to years of ballet and sports. Add to that having 2 DVTs in the same leg, and it means I now have one larger calf than the other.
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Years ago after my cheap green wellies died, I asked for Hunter wellies* for a Christmas present.
What I really wanted was a nice coloured pair of classic Hunter wellies.
What I got, as the only pair of wellies that I could find to fit my legs, were ugly dark olive green mens wellies, in a size too big. My only other alternative had been the short wellies, which wouldn’t keep my trousers clean as I always get mud up my trousers!
Years on (post child, the 2nd DVT, and putting on a lot of weight) and there was no hope of getting those boots around my legs. So I resorted to buying a cheap pair of short wellies (again a size too big). Flimsy but kept my feet dry on the rare occasion I needed to wear wellies rather than my walking trainers or boots.
What I really needed was the welly equivalent of Duo boots, where you can choose boots with your calf size.
Nowadays, you can finally buy wide leg wellies. Not all that claim to be wide leg are though. Many still only go up to 47cm, which is what my largest calf is now, despite having lost weight. Plus of course I need to add jeans onto my measurement to have them fit.
But there are at least 2 options. The Wide Welly Company (with calf sizes up to 50cm), and Jileon which sells wide leg wellies up to a 56cm!
I prefer as tall a welly as possible but in wide wellies I’ve found they’re never really that tall. N’s size 3 wellies are only 1.5cm shorter than mine from Jileon, but they fit my calves, and don’t feel ridiculously short, so I’m happy I have wellies that finally fit and don’t cut into my legs.
I decided to get my wellies from Jileon. Again I’d asked for them for Christmas and with them doing some good discounts for Black Friday, the OH managed to get a good deal for them.
It did take some deciding. Ideally I just wanted a plain pair but in a nice colour, like the purple gloss ones they sell. But as my legs at the time were around 50cm, I was inbetween the wide and extra wide sizing.
Jileon wellies allow for extra wide calves in different ways depending on the extra space needed. The extra wide wellies tend to have extra space with both an outside buckle and one on the inside leg. These go up to 57cm. I wasn’t keen on having an inside buckle because I could see it catching as I walked. I didn’t want to have to start walking like Bruce Wayne’s cowboy walk.
Instead I opted for the extra wide with rear gusset which fit up to a 50cm wide. These have a wider ankle so they’re easy to get on and off. You can get a 50cm wide option with a regular ankle but I decided I’d go for the wider ankle in case I get an ankle swelling in my left like I sometimes have.
I chose the grey with white spots – as they’re a bit different without being too garish. After all I live in the sticks, and everyone just has green wellies on the farm. So these were still quite muted in tone.
They turned out to be a great fit. No issues around the calf, in fact plenty of room even with jeans on – the outside gusset doesn’t need to widen very much at all. The ankle is a bit sloppy as I expected, but it does make the boots so easy to remove and put on. They also have space to tuck my jeans inside, and wear extra socks if needed. Because they’re so large around the ankle, I do find my socks sometimes work their way halfway off by the time I’m home but I can’t feel that in the boots themselves. I’ve solved that by not just wearing normal socks, but wearing my old Totes instead. The grip on the bottom of the soles helps keep them in place inside my boots.
The boots aren’t so big in the calf that my waterproof trousers won’t fit over them either. So I’m all set for wet weather now I’ve got boots that fit as well as waterproof trousers.
The leg part is comfortable, they don’t dig in at all. The soles are thick enough but still easy to walk on uneven or muddy and wet ground. I haven’t found them slippy to walk in either which is exactly what I want when walking around the fields.
So far they’re working well on the farm. I can see them also looking good when off the farm. Hopefully they’ll last many years.
My only disappointment is that to buy wide leg wellies, they (and that’s both brands I’ve found who do proper wide leg wellies) assume you also have wide feet. Jileon boots are EEE foot width. So if you have a really big calf and need to go for the extra wide, even with a standard ankle fit, you’ll still have a wide foot allowance. I suppose the solution is a pair of thick socks which will help with that.
If you’re like me and have been looking for years for wide leg wellies that you can get on without cutting off your circulation, then try Jileon wellies.
Where do you buy your boots from?